Born of the sea, Guided by the stars, Blessed by the earth

Raka Wines: Wild and wonderful farm life

Raka Wines: Wild and wonderful farm life
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At Raka Wines, nestled between the Akkedisberg and Kleinrivier Mountains, we have a deep respect for Mother Nature. In all that we do, we work with nature, not against it.

Raka Wines is nestled in a valley between the Akkedisberg and Kleinrivier Mountains, the southernmost mountain range in Africa. Owners Piet and Elna Dreyer's children grew up on the farm and spent most of their time outdoors, as farm children do.

The kids have had many an adventure in the veld. They have gone riding on horseback hacking through the deep ravines to visit friends on farms on the other side of the mountain. Or hiking across the mountain to Salmonsdam (a nearby nature reserve) to camp there for the night. Or they simply pitched a tent next to the Kleinrivier or by the farm dam, to fish into the night. They were unaware of dangers and hardly thought of what may be lurking in the bush!

Nowadays we run a herd of Hereford cattle. In 2018 one of the young Hereford calves was found dead, with a big slash across its torso. We suspected that the injury was caused by a large predator. This prompted us to install field cameras to try and track the culprit.

Since the first camera was installed, we have caught numerous nocturnal animals like honey badgers, bush pigs, Cape bush bucks, porcupines, and even a Cape Leopard on camera.

Wonderful animals and moments were captured, but some were very disturbing, with a leopard taking a newborn calf right in front of the camera in April 2019.

In September 2019, we caught a leopard in a cage with the help of the Landmark Foundation. We collared and released it to try and predict its movements; however, the collar lost signal a few weeks later.

We have since moved our herd of cows in calf away from the mountains and river to avoid any further conflict with Mother Nature and her spotted children.

In June 2021 the Cape Leopard Trust approached Raka because they wanted cameras installed to assist them in doing a population count. On inspection of the Cape Leopard Trust camera placed on the Raka wine farm, it was reported that “it is one of the more active sites for leopards in the Overberg” and the “only aardwolf ever photographed in the region alive” was captured here in December 2021.

The aardwolf is a nocturnal creature, living on an insect-only diet, although it is related to a hyena! Fortunately, none of the Dreyer kids were harmed growing up! 

A bush pig and aardwolf

Grapes are a delicatessen for the baboons, and we occasionally have issues with them in the vineyards. To counter this, we dump the skins of the Sauvignon blanc, which is harvested first, on the far end of the farm to lure the baboons away from the vineyards. Could it be that the leopards are helping us to keep the baboons at bay?

We tell this story to inform you of the wild and wonderful animals that roam the mountains surrounding our farm. On our farm, we try to work with Mother Nature. We adhere to the Integrated Production of Wine (IPW) guidelines which prompt us to produce our wine with minimal intervention.

It is with this approach in the vineyards and winery that we produce award-winning wines, which can be ordered for delivery to your home. No leopards keeping you from ordering online! Plus, you get a 10% discount on orders above R2000 and free delivery within South Africa.

Click HERE to shop our wines online.

ARA - Industry Association for Responsible Alcohol use Not for sale to persons under the age of 18. Enjoy Responsibly.